Dr. Kim’s Blog

Dr. Kim Okamura Welcome to my blog! This blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE. Happy reading!
The thought of losing a tooth probably isn’t one you think of often, that is, unless your dentist has uttered the words ‘gum disease’ to you during a dental exam. But gum disease isn’t the only risk factor you need to protect your teeth from, and being proactive with preventative dentistry can aid in preventing tooth loss for life! Dental Dilemmas That Can Cause Tooth Loss The top cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease. Making sure you’re preventing gum disease gives your mouth a much more likely chance of keeping your teeth and preventing other problems that can accompany periodontitis. The top offenders that lead to tooth loss are: Periodontal Disease Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is not only the cause of tooth loss, but it’s the primary reason people over the age of 35 lose their teeth. Cavities If left untreated, small cavities can grow into a major problem in a small amount ...
What is your beverage of choice to keep you going throughout your workday? Does your day begin with a thermos full of coffee on your morning commute, and transition into an afternoon diet soda after lunch? If this sounds like your typical Tuesday, we have some news that might make you pause and think about what passes through your teeth as you sip through the day. You Are What You Eat, But… Are you also what you drink? If you’re sipping an iced tea as you read this, you may want to think about how you drink too. Not only does what you eat and drink directly affect your tooth enamel, but the way you eat and drink has an effect as well. Tooth erosion, also known as dental erosion or acid erosion, occurs when acids wear away tooth enamel, which is the substance that coats the outer layer of each tooth. Over ...
If you’ve ever woken up to a toothache, you’ve probably also found yourself on the internet searching for a miracle home remedy to ease your discomfort until your dentist can see you, or even better, a miracle that the pain subsides all on its own. While a close friend or family member may swear by a home remedy, the truth is, if you’re experiencing tooth pain, it’s more than likely your body’s way of telling you that something is internally going on that requires more attention than bourbon on a cotton ball or some clove oil. But do any of these home remedies really work? Why Use Home Remedies For Tooth Pain? No home remedy for tooth pain is scientifically proven to ease your tooth pain with long term results. The only way to successfully treat a toothache is to see your dentist so the tooth can be diagnosed properly and fixed. Even so, many ...
If you’ve been suffering from facial discomfort and tense jaw pain that’s affecting your daily life, it could be your body’s way of telling you you’re one of the millions of people suffering from TMJ disorder. See how your symptoms measure up to determine whether you’re just suffering from head, jaw, or sinus pain, or if your discomfort is stemming from TMJ. Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorders When common daily activities such as eating or talking become uncomfortable as a direct link to experiencing jaw pain, you’ll do anything to find some relief. Your jaw pain may be due to a combination of factors including genetics, arthritis or jaw injury, and jaw pain doesn’t necessarily mean you have a TMJ disorder. Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include: Pain or tenderness of your jaw, cheeks, ears and neck Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints Aching pain in and around your ...
When comparing to traditional orthodontic treatments with metal brackets and wires, Invisalign treatment is the ultimate in orthodontic comfort. While the pain you feel from any orthodontic treatment is never intense, there is a certain amount of discomfort that comes along with any orthodontic treatment you choose. Here’s everything you need to know about Invisalign, any pains that come with the treatment, and how to alleviate pain you may experience. Why Teeth Ache During Orthodontic Treatment Orthodontics work by using gentle force to straighten your teeth over an extended period of time. If you know someone who has had traditional braces, you may have heard them reference the pain that is associated with getting braces tightened. Because of the computer-aided modeling of your teeth with Invisalign, you will receive a disposable, two-week plastic tray that has a very gentle force. Is Invisalign more painful than metal braces? Just like traditional orthodontics with metal brackets and ...
Your taste buds enable you to identify all the different tastes from sweet to sour. In total, you have roughly 10,000 taste buds that line your tongue, and each taste bud has between 10-50 sensory cells that are connected to your body’s nerve fibers. Typically, you should not be able to feel your taste buds because of their microscopic size, but sometimes your taste buds have a tendency to swell or enlarge. Inflamed taste buds can become irritated and painful causing you discomfort. What are your taste buds telling you? Why do I have so many painful taste buds? There are a few potential causes of the damage to your taste buds. While tastebuds typically regenerate themselves about every 1-2 weeks, there are times when they can become damaged, burned, or inflamed for different reasons including: Acid Reflux. When harmful stomach acid rides up into the throat and mouth, it can burn the taste buds ...
If this is your first time getting botox, or you’re just beginning to flirt with the idea of getting botox, this article includes everything you need to know for what to expect during that first treatment. This aesthetic and non-invasive treatment continues to increase in popularity because it gives patients exactly what they’re in search of - results! Botox is safe as long as it is injected properly. Botox is botulinum toxin, a protein that has been purified for medical use. The reason you may have heard botox referred to as a toxin, is because of the way it halts muscle movement where it is injected, but don’t look away from this treatment because of the word toxic on the label - botox is effective and it is safe to use. Because it is a non-surgical treatment, botox has far fewer risks than many other treatments for sagging or wrinkled skin. The number ...
If you spent most of 2017 with ongoing dental issues, you’re probably pretty motivated to make sure you’re heading into the new year with a healthy smile that you can keep as maintained as possible to avoid any repeat issues. Taking care of your teeth today will preserve them for tomorrow. Sound easier said than done? We’re here to help make it happen! Why Oral Health Matters We all have a tendency of taking our teeth for granted because they’re always there for us, but keeping your pearly whites in top shape does more for your overall health than you might think. Giving your grin a little extra attention this new year will help you in other areas of your health too including: Your Overall Health Keeping gum disease at bay could also lower your risks of developing other connected health problems like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s and even some cancers. Staying Confident Having a ...
The end of the year is full of holiday celebrations, and usually it’s full of delicious food and treats too. If the fear of sending your kids into a sugar-induced coma has you avoiding holiday get togethers, you’re not alone. Change your family’s outlook on what classifies as a holiday treat by swapping out the sugar-filled snacks for equally festive, but healthier alternatives. Check out our healthy holiday treat ideas for some inspiration! Healthy Eating That Gets Kids Excited It’s not always easy to get kids excited about healthy eating, but there are a few tricks to get them interested in more nutrient-rich options that change the way they view “healthy” foods. Lead By Example. Changing your kids' eating habits begins with you. Be a role model for your little one’s and let them see you reaching for the healthy snacks when you’re searching for a tasty treat. Your kids are more ...
You read that correctly - that gummy smile you’ve been self conscious about for so many years can be corrected without having to go under the knife! Gummy smile is a term used when a person’s smile shows an excessive display of gum tissue, or any amount of tissue over three to four millimeters. Some people can feel extremely self-conscious about a gummy smile, but feel helpless against gums showing when they grin. In the past, surgery was the main treatment option, but with today’s changing technology, many patients are being offered a quick and effective new treatment. Why Does My Smile Show My Gums? There’s a range of reasons why your smile might look more gummy when compared to others. Determining the underlying cause for your gummy smile will help your dentist dictate the best treatment option. The most common reasons for a gummy smile include: A short upper lip caused ...